Because it had been God in there.
There might be a kind of God in that ship, too, Andy thought. And even if that God had fled, It had left some residue... some of Itself... and thinking about all that made it hard to keep your mind on the business at hand.
Then there was Gardener's unsettling blankness. You kept running into it like a closed door that should have been open. You'd yell at him to hand you something, and he would go right on with what he was doing.
Just... no response. Or you'd go to tune It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница in on him—just sort of fall into the run of his thoughts, like picking up a telephone on a party-line to see who was talking, and there would be no one there. No one at all. Nothing but a dead line.
There was a buzz from the intercom nailed to the inside wall of the lean-to. Its wire ran across the muddy, churned ground and into the trench from which the ship jutted.
Bozeman flipped the toggle over to Talk. “I'm here.”
“The charge is set,” Gardener said. “Haul me up.” He sounded It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница very, very tired. He had thrown himself a pretty fair country drunk last night, Bozeman thought, judging by the sound of the puking he had heard from the back porch around midnight. And when he glanced into Gardener's room this morning, he had seen blood on his pillow.
“Right away.” The episode with Enders had taught them all that when Gardener asked to be brought up, you didn't waste time.
He went to the windlass and began to crank. It was a pain in the ass, having to do this by hand, but there was a temporary shortage It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница of batteries again. Give them another week and everything out here would be running like clockwork... except Bozeman doubted if he would be here to see it. Being near the ship was exhausting. Being near Gardener was exhausting in a different way—it was like being near a loaded gun that had a hair trigger. The way he had sucker-punched poor John Enders, now—the only reason John hadn't known it was coming was because Gardener was such an infuriating blank. Every now and then a bubble of thought partial or complete—would rise to the surface It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница of his mind, as readable as a newspaper headline, but that was all. Maybe Enders had it coming—Bozeman knew that he wouldn't be too nuts about being stuck at the bottom of a trench with one of those explosive radios. But that wasn't the point. The point was that Johnny hadn't been able to see it coming. Gardener could do anything, at any time, and no one could stop him, because no one could see it coming.
Andy Bozeman almost wished Bobbi would die so they could get rid of him. It would be tougher with It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница just Havenites working on the project, true, it would slow them down, but it would almost be worth it.
The way he could come out of left field at you was so fucking unsettling.
This morning, for instance. Coffee break. Bozeman sitting on a stump, eating some of those little peanut-butter-and-cracker sandwiches and drinking iced coffee from his Thermos. He had always preferred hot coffee to cold even in warm weather, but since he'd lost his teeth, really hot drinks seemed to bother him.
Gardener had been sitting cross-legged like one of those Yoga It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница masters on a dirty swatch of tarpaulin, eating an apple and drinking a beer. Bozeman didn't see how anyone could eat an apple and drink a beer at the same time, especially in the morning, but Gardener was doing it. From here, Bozeman could see the scar an inch or so above Gardener's left eyebrow. The steel plate would be under that scar. it
Gardener had turned his head and caught Bozeman looking at him. Bozeman flushed, wondering if Gardener was going to start to yell and rant. If maybe he was going to come over here It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница and try to sucker-punch him the way he had Johnny Enders. If he tries that, Bozeman thought, curling his hands into fists, he's going to find that I'm no sucker.
Instead, Gardener had begun to speak in a clear, carrying voice—there was a small, cynical smile on his mouth as he did it. After a moment, Bozeman realized he wasn't just speaking, he was reciting. The man was sitting out here in the woods cross-legged on a dirty tarp, hungover out of his mind, the glittering body of the ship in the It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница earth casting moving ripples of reflection on his cheek, and reciting like a schoolboy—the man was unfucking-stable, Bozeman would tell the world. He sincerely wanted Gardener dead.
Tom gave up the brush with reluctance in his face, but alacrity in his heart,"” Gardener said, eyes half-closed, face turned up toward the warm morning sun. That little smile never left his lips. —Andwhile the late steamer Big Missouri worked and sweated in the sun, the retired artist sat on a barrel in the shade close by, dangled his legs, munched his apple, and planned the slaughter It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница of more innocents.
“What—” Andy began, but Gardener, his smile now spreading into a genuine—if nonetheless cynical—grin, overrode him.
There was no lack of material; boys happened along every little while; they came to jeer, but they remained to whitewash. By the time Ben was fagged out, Tom had traded the next chance to Billy Fisher for a kite, in good repair; and when he played out, Johnny Miller bought in for a dead rat, and a string to swing it with... “”
Gardener drank the rest of his beer, belched, and stretched.
“You never brought me a dead It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница rat and a string to swing it with, but I got an intercom, Bozie, and I guess that's a start, huh?”
“I don't know what you're talking about,” Andy Bozeman said slowly. He had only gotten two years of college, business admin, before having to drop out and go to work. His father had a heart condition and chronic high blood pressure. High-flown fellows like this made him nervous and angry. Lording it over ordinary folks, as if being able to quote from something written by someone who had died a long time ago It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница made their shit smell sweeter than other people's.
Gardener said, “That's okay. It's from chapter two of Tom Sawyer. When Bobbi was a kid back in Utica, seventh grade, they had this thing called Junior Exhibition. It was a recitation competition. She didn't want to be in it, but her sister Anne decided she ought to be, that it would be good for her, or something, and when sister Anne decided something, brother, it was decided. Anne was a real tartar then, Bozie, and she's a real tartar now. At least I guess she is. I haven It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница't seen her in a long time, and that's the way, oh-ho, uh-huh, I like it. But I think it's fair to say she's still the same. People like her very rarely change.”
“Don't call me Bozie,” Andy said, hoping he sounded more dangerous than he felt. “I don't like it.”
“When I had Bobbi in freshman comp, she wrote once about how she froze trying to recite Tom Sawyer. I just about cracked up.” Gardener got to his feet and started walking toward Andy, a development the ex It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница-realtor viewed with active alarm. “I saw her after class the next day and asked her if she still remembered how “Whitewashing the Fence'” went. She did. I wasn't surprised. There are some things you never forget, like when your sister or your mother bulldozed you into some horror-show like Junior Ex. You may forget the piece when you're standing up there in front of all those people. Otherwise, you could recite it on your deathbed.”
“Look,” Andy said, “we ought to get back to work
“I let her get about four sentences in, and then I joined her. Her It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница jaw dropped almost down to her knees. Then she started grinning, and we went through it together, word for word. It wasn't so strange. We were both shy kids, Bobbi and I. Her sister was the dragon in front of her cave, my mother was the dragon in front of mine. People like that often get this very weird idea that the way to cure a shy kid is to put him into the sort of situation he dreads the most—something like Junior Ex. It wasn't even much of a coincidence that we It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница'd both gotten that whitewashing thing by heart. The only one more popular for recitation is “The Tell-Tale Heart.
Gardener drew in breath and screamed:
“Stop, fiends! Dissemble no more! Tear up the floor-boards! Here! Here! “Tis the beating of his hideous heart!”
Andy had uttered a small shriek. He dropped his Thermos, and half a cup of cold coffee stained the crotch of his pants.
“Uh-oh, Bozie,” Gardener said conversationally. “Never get that out of those polyester slacks.
“Only difference between the two of us was that I didn't freeze,” he went on. “In fact, I It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница won a second-prize ribbon. But it didn't cure my fear of talking in front of crowds... only made it worse. Whenever I stand up in front of a group to read poetry, I look at all those hungry eyes... I think of “Whitewashing the Fence” Also, I think about Bobbi. Sometimes that's enough to get me through. Anyway, it made us friends.”
“I don't see what any of that has to do with getting this work done!” Andy cried in a hectoring voice utterly unlike him. But his heart had been beating too fast. For It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница a moment there, when Gardener had shrieked, he really had believed the man had gone insane.
“You don't see what this has to do with whitewashing the fence?” Gardener asked, and laughed. “Then you must be blind, Bozie.”
He pointed to the ship leaning skyward at its perfect forty-five-degree angle, rising out of the wide trench.
“We're digging it up instead of whitewashing it, but that doesn't change the principle a bit. I have fagged out Bobby Tremain and John Enders, and if you're back tomorrow I'll eat your Hush Puppies. Thing It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница is, I never seem to get any prizes for it. You tell whoever comes out tomorrow I want a dead rat and a string to swing it by, Bozie... or a bully taw, at the very least.” Gardener had stopped halfway to the trench. He looked around at Andy. Andy's failure to read this big man with the sloping shoulders and the indistinct, oddly broken face had never made Bozeman more uncomfortable than it did then.
“Better still, Bozie,” Gardener had said in a voice so soft Andy could hardly hear it, “get Bobbi out here tomorrow. I'd It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница like to find out if the New Improved Bobbi still remembers how to recite “Whitewashing the Fence” from Tom Sawyer.”
Then, without another word, he had gone to the sling and waited for Andy to lower him down.
If that whole thing hadn't been Ieft-field, Andy didn't know what was. And, he added to himself as he turned the winch, that had only been Gardener's first beer of the day. He'll put away another five or six at lunch and really get wild and crazy.
Gardener now came swaying to the top It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница of the trench, and Andy had an urge to let go of the windlass crank. Solve the problem himself.
Except he couldn't—Gardener belonged to Bobbi Anderson, and until Bobbi either died or came out of the shed, things had to go on pretty much as they were.
“Come on, Bozie. Some of those rocks fly a long way.” He started toward the lean-to. Andy fell in beside him, hurrying to keep up.
“I told you I don't like you calling me Bozie,” he said.
Gardener spared him a curiously flat glance. “I know,” he It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница said.
They went around the lean-to. About three minutes later another of those loud, crumping roars shuddered out of the trench. A spray of rocks rose into the sky and came down, rattling off the hull of the ship with dull clangs and clongs.
“Well, let's—'Bozeman began.
Gardener grabbed his arm. His head was tilted, his face alert, his eyes Clark and lively. “Shhh!”
Andy wrenched his arm away. “What in the hell's wrong with you?”
“Don't you hear it?”
“I don't h—”
Then he did. A hissing sound, like a giant tea-kettle, was coming It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница from the trench. It was growing. A mad excitement suddenly seized Andy. There was more than a little terror in it.
“It's them!” he whispered, and turned toward Gard. His eyes were the size of doorknobs, his lips, shiny with loose spittle, were trembling. “They weren't dead, we woke them up... they're coming out!”
“Jesus is coming and is He pissed,” Gardener remarked, unimpressed.
The hissing grew louder. Now there was another crunching thud—this wasn't an explosion; it was the sound of something heavy collapsing. A moment later something else collapsed: Andy It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница. The strength ran out of his legs and he fell to his knees.
“It's them, it'them, it's them!” he slobbered.
Gardener hooked a hand into the man's armpit, wincing a little at the hot, jungly dampness there, and pulled him to his feet.
“That's not the Tommyknockers,” he said. “It's water.”
“Huh?” Bozeman looked at him with dazed incomprehension.
“Water!” Gardener cried, giving Bozeman a brisk little shake. “We just brought in our swimming pool, Bozie!”
The hiss suddenly exploded into a soft, steady roar. Water jetted out of the trench It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница and into the sky in a widening sheet. This was no column of water; it was as if a giant child had just pressed his finger over a giant faucet to watch the water spray everywhere. At the bottom of the trench, water was driving up through a number of fissures in just that way.
“Water?” Andy asked weakly. He couldn't get it right in his mind.
Gardener didn't reply. Rainbows danced in the water; it ran down the sleek hull of the ship in rivulets, leaving beads behind... and as he watched, he saw those drops begin to skitter It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница, the way water flicked into hot fat on a griddle will skitter and hop. Only this was not random. The drops were lining up in obedience to lines of force which ran down the hull of the ship like lines of longitude on a globe.
I can see it, Gardener thought. I can see the force radiating from the ship's skin in those drops. My God
There was another crunch. Gardener seemed to feel the earth actually drop a bit under his feet. At the bottom of the trench, water pressure was finishing the work the blasting had begun It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница—widening fissures and holes, pulling the friable rock apart. More water began to escape, and more easily. The sheets of spray fell back. A last diffuse rainbow wavered in the air and disappeared.
Gardener saw the ship shift as the rock weld which had prisoned it so long let go. It moved so slightly it might have been imagination, but it wasn't. In that brief movement he could see how it would look coming out of the ground—he could see its shadow rippling slowly over the ground as it came up and out, could It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница hear the unearthly wailing of its hull scraping over the bones of bedrock, could sense everyone in Haven looking this way as it rose into the sky, hot and glittering, a monstrous silver coin slowly heeling over to the horizontal for the first time in millennia, floating soundlessly in the sky, floating free...
He wanted that. God! Right or wrong, he wanted that so bad.
Gardener gave his head a brisk shake, as if to clear it.
“Come on,” he said. “Let's take a look.”
Without waiting, Gardener walked across to the trench and looked in. He could It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница hear rushing water, but it was hard to see. He attached one of the big kleig lights they used for night-work to the stirrup of the sling and lowered it about ten feet. That was plenty; if he had lowered it another ten, it would have been underwater. It had been a lake they had broken into, all right; no joke. The trench was filling rapidly.
After a moment, Andy joined him. His face was wretched. “All that work!” he cried.
“Did you bring your diving board, Bozie? Are we going to have Free Swim on Thursdays or Fr—”
“Shut It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница up!” Andy Bozeman screamed at him. “Shut up, I hate you!”
Wild hysteria washed over Gardener. He staggered away to a stump and sat down, wondering if the goddam thing had stayed watertight all these years, wondering what the fair market price was for a flying saucer with water damage. He began to laugh. Even when Andy Bozeman came over and hit him upside the face and knocked him onto the ground, Jim Gardener couldn't stop laughing.
Thursday, August 4th:
When it got to be quarter to nine and still no one had shown up, Gardener began to It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница wonder if maybe they were quitting. He toyed with the idea as he sat in Bobbi's rocker on the porch, fingering the big, puffy bruise on the side of his face where Bozeman had clouted him.
A bunch of them had been out in Archinbourg's Cadillac again, after midnight. Mostly the same bunch. Another Midnight Shed Party. Gardener had hiked himself up on one elbow and had watched them through the guestroom window, wondering who brought the chips and dip to these soirees. They were just shadows grouped around the long front end of the Coupe DeVille It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница. They stood there for a moment, then went to the shed. When they opened the door, that viciously brilliant light poured out in a flood that lit the entire yard and the guestroom itself with a sick radium-dial glow. They went inside. The glow faded down to a thick vertical bar but didn't go out entirely. They had left the door ajar. The folks in this little jerkwater Maine town were now the brightest people on earth, but apparently not even they had been able to figure out how to padlock a door from the outside, and they It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница hadn't thought to put one on the inside.
Now, sitting on the porch and looking toward the village, Gardener thought: Maybe when they get inside there, they get too exalted to think of mundane things like padlocks.
He shaded his eyes with one hand. A truck was coming. A big old pulp truck that was vaguely familiar. There was a tarpaulin over something in the back. It flapped casually in the wind. Gardener knew it was going to turn in. Of course they hadn't given up.
Woke up last night in the guestroom bed It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница, saw the folks going into the Tommyknockers” shed. Could have looked in, but I didn't quite dare; don't want to know what goes on in there.
He didn't think, somehow, that the judges of the Yale Younger Poets competition would think much of it. But, Gardener thought, This Is Where Jim Gardener Is Now, as they say. Maybe later on they'll call it my Tommyknocker Phase. Or my Shed Period. Or
The truck changed to a lower gear and came groaning into Bobbi's dooryard. The engine died with a wheeze. The man in the strap It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница-style T-shirt who got out was the man who had given Gard his ride to the Haven town line on July 4th. He recognized the man at once. Coffee, he thought. You gave me coffee with a lot of sugar in it. Tasted good. He looked like an extra from the James Dickey novel about those city boys and their weekend canoeing trip down the Cahoola-wassee. Gardener didn't think the man was from Haven, though—hadn't he said Albion?
Stuff's spreading, he thought. Well, why not? It's fallout, isn't it? And Albion's downwind.
“Lo It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница there,” the truck driver said. “Guess you don't “member me.” His tone added: Don't fuck with me, Fred.
“Guess I do,” Gard said, and the name rose magically in his mind, even after all this—a single month that seemed more like ten years, with all these strange events. “Freeman, Moss. Gave me a ride. I was coming to cheek on Bobbi. But I guess you know that.”
Moss went to the back of the truck and began pulling slipknots and yanking rope. “Want to give me a help with this?”
Gardener started down the steps It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница, then stopped, smiling a little. First Tremain, then Enders, then Bozeman with his somehow pitiful pale yellow polyester pants.
“Sure,” he said. “Just tell me one thing.”
“Ayuh?” Moss left off pulling the ropes. He flipped back the tarpaulin, and Gardener saw about what he had expected: a weird conglomeration of equipment: tanks, hoses, three car batteries nailed to a board. A New and Improved Pump. “Will if I can.”
Gardener grinned without much humor. “Did you bring me a dead rat and a string to swing it with?”
Friday, August 5th:
No air traffic had overflown Haven It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница on a regular basis since the late 1960s when Dow Air Force Base in Bangor had closed down. If someone had uncovered the ship in the earth back in those days, there might have been trouble; there had been Air Force fighter planes zooming overhead four and five times a day, rattling windows and sometimes breaking them with sonic booms. The pilots weren't supposed to boom over the continental United States unless absolutely necessary, but the hotshots who flew the F-4s, most of them with adolescent acne still fading from their cheeks and foreheads, sometimes got It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница a little exuberant. The jets made the Mustangs and Chargers these overgrown boys had been driving only a year before look mighty tame. When Dow closed there were still a few Air National Guard flights, but the patterns were shifted north, toward the Loring in Limestone.
After some dithering, the base was turned into a commercial airfield, named Bangor International Airport. Some thought the name rather grand for an airport that serviced a few wheezy Northeast Airlines flights to Boston each day and a handful of puddle-jumper Pipers bound for Augusta and Portland. But the air traffic eventually It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница grew, and by 1983 BIA had become a thriving air terminal. Besides serving two commercial airlines, it was also a refueling point for many international carriers, and so it finally earned its grand name.
For a while, some commercial airliners did overfly Haven—this was in the early seventies. But pilots and navigators regularly reported radar problems in the area coded Quadrant G-3, a square which took in most of Haven, all of Albion, and the China Lakes region. This cloudy interference, known as,popcorn,” “echo-haze,” or, even more colorfully, as “ghost-turds,” is also reported regularly over the Bermuda Triangle It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница. Compasses went wacky. Sometimes there were funny cuckoo electrical glitches in the equipment.
In 1973, a Delta jet southbound from BIA to Boston nearly collided with a TWA jet bound from London to Chicago. Drinks on both planes were spilled; a TWA stewardess was scalded by hot coffee. No one but the flightcrews knew how close it had been. The co-pilot on the Delta plane ran a hot special-delivery into his pants, laughed hysterically all the way to Boston, and quit flying forever two days later.
In 1974 a Big Sky charter jet loaded with happy gamblers bound for Las It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница Vegas from Bangor and the Canadian Maritimes lost power in one engine over Haven and had to return to Bangor. When the engine was restarted on the ground, it ran fine.
There was another near-miss in 1975. By 1979, all commercial air traffic had been routed out of the area. If you had asked an FAA controller about it, he only would have shrugged and called it a dragon. It was a word they used. There were such places here and there; no one knew why. It was easier to route planes away and forget it.
By It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница 1982, private air traffic was also being routinely vectored away from G-3 by controllers in Augusta, Waterville, and Bangor. So no pilot had seen the great shiny object winking up from the exact center of map-square G-3 on FAA Map ECUS-2.
Not until Peter Bailey saw it on the afternoon of August 5th.
Bailey was a private pilot with two hundred hours on his own in the air. He flew a Cessna Hawk XP, and he would have been the first to tell you that it had cost him a few banana-skins. This was Peter Bailey's phrase for money. He It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница found it hilarious. The Hawk cruised at a hundred and fifty miles an hour and had good sky capability; 17,000 feet without breathing hard. The Cessna nav-pack made it hard to get lost (the optional nav antenna had also cost a few banana-skins). In other words it was a good plane, one that could damn near fly itself—only it didn't have to with a good pilot like him driving.
If Peter Bailey had a bitch, it was the goddam insurance. It was highway robbery, and he had bored his golfing partners to tears It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница with the outrage the insurance companies had foisted on him.
He had friends who flew, he assured them grimly, plenty of them. A lot with less hours on their licenses than he had were forking over fewer banana-skins to the insurance heathens than he was. Some were guys he wouldn't have flown with, he said, if they owned the last plane on earth and his wife was in Denver dying of a brain hemorrhage. And the amount wasn't the greatest humiliation of all. The greatest humiliation of all was that he, Peter Bailey, he, a respected neurosurgeon who made It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница well over three hundred thousand banana-skins a year, had to accept pool coverage if he wanted to fly. Well, he told his captive audiences (who often wished fervently that they had only played the front nine, or, better, had stayed in the bar and soaked up a few Bloody Marys), pool coverage was assigned-risk coverage, the sort teenagers and convicted drunks had to carry on their cars. Shit! If that wasn't goddam discrimination he didn't know what was. If he wasn't such a busy man he'd slap the bastards with a class It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница action suit and he'd win, too.
Many of Bailey's golf companions were lawyers, and most knew it wouldn't wash. Risk coverage was made on the basis of actuarial tables, and the fact was, Peter Bailey wasn't just a neurosurgeon; he was a doctor, and doctors have the worst record as private pilots of any professional group in the world.
After escaping one of these foursomes, one of the players remarked as Bailey headed toward the clubhouse, still fuming: “I wouldn't even drive to Denver with the long-winded son of a bitch It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница if my wife was dying of a brain hemorrhage.”
Peter Bailey was exactly the sort of flier for whom the tables had been invented. There were undoubtedly doctors all over America who were exemplary pilots. Bailey wasn't one of them. Quick and decisive in the operating theater when a patient lay before him with a window of skull cut away to reveal the pinkish-gray brain tissue, as delicate as a dancer with scalpel and laser knife, he was a ham-fisted pilot who constantly violated assigned altitudes, FAA safety rules, and his own flight patterns. He was a It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница bold pilot, but with only two hundred hours on his license, he could by no stretch of the imagination be called an old pilot. His status as an assigned risk only confirmed the old saw: a pilot may be one or the other, but no pilot is both.
He was flying alone that day from Teeterboro outside New York to Bangor. At Bangor he would rent a car and drive to Derry Home Hospital. He had been asked to consult in the case of young Hillman Brown. Because the case was interesting and the price right (and because he It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница had heard good things about the golf course in Orono), he had agreed.
The weather had been clear the whole way, the air smooth. Bailey had enjoyed the trip tremendously. As usual, his logbook was botched, he had missed one VOR beacon entirely and had decided another must be on the blink (he had hit the frequency dial with his elbow), he had wandered from his assigned altitude of 11,000 feet as high as 15,000 and as low as 6,000, and had once again avoided killing anyone... a blessing he was unfortunately too stupid to count.
He also wandered well off his flight-path It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница, and so happened to overfly Haven, where a great blink of light suddenly flicked into his eye; it was as if someone had just flashed the lid of the world's biggest Crisco can up at him.
“What in the Sam Hill—”
He looked down and saw a tantalizing glimmer of that brightness. He might have dismissed it, might have gone on and survived to fight yet another day (or perhaps to collide with a fully loaded airliner), but he was early and intrigued. He banked the Hawk and went back.
It flashed again, bright It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница enough to dazzle a blue crescent of afterimage onto his eyes. Ripples of light ran across the top of the pilot's cabin.
There, below him in a clearing in the gray-green woods, was a huge silver object. He could tell little about it before it was gone again under the port wing.
At 6,000 feet for the second time that day, Bailey banked back again. His head had begun to ache—he noticed this and dismissed it as excitement. His first thought had been that it was a water-tower, but no one would locate a water-tower It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница that big in the woods.
He overflew the object again, this time at 4,000. He had the Hawk throttled back as far as he dared (which was a good deal further than a more experienced pilot would have dared do, but the Hawk was a good plane and it forgave him).
Artifact, he thought this time, almost sick with excitement. A great dishshaped artifact in the earth... or some government thing? But if it was government, how come it wasn't covered with a camouflage net? And the ground around it had been excavated—from up here, the trench It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница cut into the earth was perfectly clear.
Bailey determined to overfly it again—hell, he'd buzz it!—and then his eye fell on his gauges and his heart took an unsteady leap. His compass was winding itself around in big stupid circles, the tank indicators were flashing red. The altimeter suddenly ran up to 22,000 feet, stopped briefly, and then dropped back to dead zero.
The Hawk's husky 195-horsepower motor gave a terrifying hitch. The nose dipped. Bailey's heart did the same. His head throbbed. In front of his bulging eyes needles were whirling, lights It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница flashed from green to red like pygmy traffic signals, and the altitude warning beeper, which was supposed to tell a bemused pilot Wake up, dummy, you are about to run into a large immovable object
called Mother Earth, began to sound, even though it wasn't supposed to go off until the plane passed through five hundred and Bailey's own eyes told him the Hawk was still at four thousand feet, perhaps a bit more. He looked at the digital thermometer which recorded the outside air temperature. It blinked from 47 to 58, then to 5. It paused there for a moment, then showed It Came Out of the Sky”, Creedence Clearwater Revival 18 страница 999. The red numerals held there, pulsing distractedly, and then the thermometer shorted out.